Military Forces & Armed Groups

Women, Conflict and Conflict Reporting: The Deeply Gendered Discourse on the Rohingya Crisis in the News Websites in India


Malaviya, Ritambhara. 2020. "Women, Conflict and Conflict Reporting: The Deeply Gendered Discourse on the Rohingya Crisis in the News Websites in India." In Citizenship, Nationalism and Refugeehood of Rohingyas in Southern Asia, edited by Nasreen Chowdhory and Biswajit Mohanty, 171-88. Singapore: Springer, Singapore.

Author: Ritambhara Malaviya


History shows how female bodies have been the site of contestation in violent conflicts across the world. There are innumerable instances of the use of rape as a systematic weapon for proving the superiority of one’s own race during conflicts, for instance, during the Bosnian crisis, or even earlier during the 1971 war of independence of Bangladesh. While conflicts impact women and children especially because of their vulnerability, the very understanding of why and how the conflict happened is deeply gendered. The Rohingya crisis is a case in point. This chapter attempts to understand the gendered discourse underpinning the discussion on the Rohingya crisis in India through a study of some major news websites in India. As per the framework used by Galtung (The Missing Journalism on Conflict and Peace and the Middle East, 2005), news reporting in India on the Rohingya is split into two camps, the war/victory-oriented journalism and the alternative peace-oriented approach. This chapter notes that while war journalism draws upon concepts which are masculinist, the softer peace journalism resembles the approach of feminists towards conflicts and cooperation. Feminism has analysed how the categories like state, sovereignty, security and militarization are deeply gendered. The patterns of reporting, however, are seen to follow the mainstream masculinist framework. These masculinist lenses are seldom questioned, and how power operates through these categories is rarely the subject of reporting. Therefore, through a careful study of the news portals, the chapter tries to understand how the discourse on the Rohingya encompasses within it gendered stereotypes and power equations.

Keywords: Rohingya, Gender, power, control, state, conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India

Year: 2020

Governing a Liminal Land Deal: The Biopolitics and Necropolitics of Gender


Chung, Youjin B. 2020. “Governing a Liminal Land Deal: The Biopolitics and Necropolitics of Gender.” Antipode 52 (3): 722–41.

Author: Youjin B. Chung


Over the past decade, there has been a surge in large-scale land acquisitions around the world. Yet, increasing evidence suggests that many of the prominent land deals signed during the global land rush are struggling to materialise. This emergent pattern of liminality has important implications for understanding the everyday, contingent, and gendered processes of land deal governance and subject formation. Drawing on ethnographic research, this article examines the gendered governance of a “liminal” land deal in coastal Tanzania, through a case of the EcoEnergy Sugar Project. It shows how the project’s prolonged delay has given rise, over time, to two contradistinctive sets of actors and mechanisms of control: biopolitical interventions of international development consultants focused on livelihood improvements, and necro political interventions of district paramilitary forces focused on surveillance and violence. While seemingly contradictory, I argue that both enactments of power fundamentally relied on and reproduced normative gender in rural Tanzania.

Keywords: land grab, biopolitics, necropolitics, Gender, development, Tanzania

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Land Grabbing, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Livelihoods, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2020

Conscripting Women: Gender, Soldiering, and Military Service in Sweden 1965-2018


Persson, Alma, and Fia Sundevall. 2019. "Conscripting Women: Gender, Soldiering, and Military Service in Sweden 1965-2018." Women's History Review 28 (7): 1039-56.

Authors: Alma Persson, Fia Sundevall


This article explores how women, men, and gender equality in the military have been debated, made sense of, regulated, and dealt with in Swedish contemporary history. It takes its empirical point of departure in 1965, when the issue of military conscription for women was first raised in Sweden, and ends with the implementation of so called gender-neutral conscription in 2018. The study is based on a wide range of sources, collected through a combination of extensive archival work, ethnographic studies, and interviews. The analysis shows how men have been the standard against which women were measured throughout the period studied. Women service members were simultaneously perceived both as a problem and as a solution to a range of problems in the organisation. Women’s ‘different’ bodies were considered problematic, while staff shortages and demands for specific personnel qualities rendered the ‘woman soldier’ a solution, in particular in relation to international missions.

Keywords: conscription, national service, gender equality, military employment, military officers, Swedish Armed Forces

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2019

Gender Inequalities in the Military Service: A Systematic Literature Review


Reis, João, and Sofia Menezes. 2020. "Gender Inequalities in the Military Service: A Systematic Literature Review." Sexuality & Culture 24: 1004-18.

Authors: João Reis, Sofia Menezes


This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the literature regarding gender inequalities in the military service. In doing so, it discloses challenges and opportunities for women’s integration and finds new avenues for future research. Recent scientific research has evidenced that women still represent a growing minority in most Western militaries. Women’s integration deserves equal opportunities across all branches and levels of responsibility in the military, however, their expansion to ground combat roles is still a challenge to the military and policy-makers. Scholars have also reported about the decision to increase the number of women in combat roles, as it may potentiate adverse experiences, due to closer proximity to men in circumstances with little or no privacy. Conversely, scientific research has shown that more egalitarian women reported significantly less sexual harassment victimization. Furthermore, our insights suggest that it might be fruitful to integrate women in ground combat roles as special forces’ operators, with a view to induce a reduction of marginalization and sexual harassment, by gaining respect in a male-dominant culture. The presented idea should be interpreted with caution and needs to be supported by empirical research; although we are convinced that future research will be revealing and might represent a game-changing situation to women inequalities in the armed forces.

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexual Violence, SV against Women

Year: 2020

Without Water, There Is No Life’: Negotiating Everyday Risks and Gendered Insecurities in Karachi’s Informal Settlements


Anwar, Nausheen H., Amiera Sanas, and Daanish Mustafa. 2020. “‘Without Water, There Is No Life’: Negotiating Everyday Risks and Gendered Insecurities in Karachi’s Informal Settlements.” Urban Studies 56 (6): 1320-37.

Authors: Nausheen H. Anwar, Amiera Sanas, Daanish Mustafa


This article provides new insights into the politics of water provisioning in Karachi’s informal settlements, where water shortages and contaminations have pushed ordinary citizens to live on the knife edge of water scarcity. We turn our attention to the everyday practices that involve gendered insecurities of water in Karachi, which has been Pakistan’s security laboratory for decades. We explore four shifting security logics that strongly contribute to the crisis of water provisioning at the neighbourhood level and highlight an emergent landscape of ‘securitised water’. Gender maps the antagonisms between these security logics, so we discuss the impacts on ordinary women and men as they experience chronic water shortages. In Karachi, a patriarchal stereotype of the militant or terrorist-controlled water supply is wielded with the aim of upholding statist national security concerns that undermine women’s and men’s daily security in water provisioning whereby everyday issues of risk and insecurity appear politically inconsequential. We contend that risk has a very gendered nature and it is women that experience it both in the home and outside.



Keywords: exclusion, Gender, infrastructure, politics, poverty, security, social justice, water, 关键词, 排斥, 性别, 基础设施, 政治, 贫困, 安全, 社会正义, 水

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Terrorism, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2020

Re-Masculinizing the Nation: Gender, Disaster, and the Politics of National Resilience in Post-3.11 Japan


Koikari, Mire. 2019. "Re-Masculinizing the Nation: Gender, Disaster, and the Politics of National Resilience in Post-3.11 Japan." Japan Forum, 31 (2): 143-64.

Author: Mire Koikari


Following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquakes, Japan has entered into a new phase of cultural production where discourses on risks, dangers, and calamities mobilize varieties of individuals and institutions for the purpose of maintaining the nation's safety and security. In this phase, masculinity plays a salient role, leading to a series of discourses and practices that have to do with manhood and nationhood. Drawing on insights from Masculinity Studies, Disaster Studies, and Cultural Studies, this article examines the workings of masculinity in post-disaster Japanese culture by analyzing ‘national resilience’, a leading national initiative that demands a sweeping transformation of the nation. Calling for the revitalization of the nation, national resilience also insists on the need to re-strengthen men and manhood, providing a gendered vision of national security in post-disaster Japan. Unlike other, more politicized sites of controversies on nation and nationhood, i.e. constitutional revision, Yasukuni Shrine, and comfort women, national resilience is a yet-to-be marked domain of contestation where the public concern with safety frequently overrides and obscures its political intentions and implications. Yet, national resilience constitutes a potent site of politics, where discourses about men, the military, nation, and empire are repeatedly mobilized to promote the revitalization of Japan.

Keywords: masculinity, safety and security, Great East Japan Earthquake, disaster resilience

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Security Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019

Alter-Geopolitics and the Feminist Challenge to the Securitization of Climate Policy


Boyce, Geoffrey Alan, Sarah Launius, Jill Williams, and Todd Miller. 2020. "Alter-Geopolitics and the Feminist Challenge to the Securitization of Climate Policy." Gender, Place & Culture 27 (3): 394-411.

Authors: Geoffrey Alan Boyce, Sarah Launius, Jill Williams, Todd Miller


In the United States and beyond the challenges of global climate change are increasingly being governed via the militarization of nation-state borders rather than, or in addition to, the mitigation of carbon emissions and collective strategies for climate adaptation. In this article we apply the concept of “geopopulationism,” introduced by Bhatia et al. (this issue), to think through the zero-sum Manichaean logics of traditional geopolitical calculation and the ways these become applied to climate governance via the securitization of climate change-related migration. In order to disrupt this securitization of climate policy, we draw on the insights of feminist geopolitics and what Koopman calls “alter-geopolitics” to consider how contemporary grassroots movements like the Sanctuary movement and #BlackLivesMatter have made connections between political, economic and environmental vulnerabilities while developing relationships of solidarity and care that broaden, disseminate, distribute and regenerate security as an expansive and inclusive project. We conclude by considering ways that scholars can continue to ally ourselves with and contribute to these grassroots efforts.

Keywords: climate change, geopopulationism, migration, security, feminist geopolitics, alter-geopolitics, social movements

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security

Year: 2020

Gender, Peace and Conflict


Smith, Dan, and Inger Skjelsbaek, eds. 2001. Gender, Peace and Conflict. London: Sage Publications. 

Authors: Dan Smith, Inger Skjelsbaek


Gender is increasingly recognized as central to the study and analysis of the traditionally male domains of war and international relations.
This book explores the key role of gender in peace research, conflict resolution and international politics. Rather than simply 'add gender and stir' the aim is to transcend different disciplinary boundaries and conceptual approaches to provide a more integrated basis for research and study. To this end Gender, Peace and Conflict uniquely combines theoretical chapters alongside empirical case studies to demonstrate the importance of a gender perspective to both theory and practice in conflict resolution and peace research. 
The theoretical chapters explore the gender relationship and engage with the many stereotypical elisions and dichotomies that dominate and distort the issue, such as the polarized pairs of femininity and peace versus masculinity and war. The case study chapters (drawing on examples from South America, South Asia and Europe, including former Yugoslavia) move beyond theoretical critique to focus on issues such as sexual violence in war, the role of women in military groups and peacekeeping operations, and the impact of a 'critical mass' of women in political decision-making. 
Gender, Peace and Conflict provides an invaluable survey and new insights in a central area of contemporary research. It will be essential reading for academics, students and practitioners across peace studies, conflict resolution and international politics. (Summary from PRIO)
Table of Contents:
1. Women, Peace and the United Nations: Beyond Beijing 
Dorota Gierycz
2. The Problem of Essentialism 
Dan Smith
3. Is Femininity Inherently Peaceful? The Construction of Femininity in the War 
Inger Skjelsbæk
4. Women & War, Men & Pacifism 
Michael Salla
5. Gender, Power and Politics: An Alternative Perspective 
Errol Miller
6. Women in Political Decisionmaking: From Critical Mass to Critical Acts in Scandinavia 
Drude Dahlerup
7. Promoting Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution: Gender Balance in Decisionmaking 
Anuradha Mitra Chenoy and Achin Vanaik
8. Integrating a Gender Perspective in Conflict Resolution: The Colombian Case 
Eva Irene Tuft
9. The Use of Women and the Role of Women in the Yugoslav War 
Svetlana Slapsak
10. Gender Difference in Conflict Resolution: The Case of Sri Lanka 
Kumudini Samuel


Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans Countries: Colombia, Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2001

Women and 'New Wars' in El Salvador


Applebaum, Anna, and Briana Mawby. 2018. “Women and ‘New Wars’ in El Salvador.” Stability: International Journal of Security & Development 7 (1): 1-15.

Authors: Anna Applebaum, Briana Mawby


The most violent countries in the world are increasingly countries considered ‘at peace’. From Honduras to Mexico to South Africa, armed violence, often by gangs, has led to high levels of casualties. Disruption of daily life due to armed violence is similar to the challenges experienced during wartime, though often without the markers or recognition associated with war. With gang violence primarily viewed as a domestic criminal issue, external support for conflict mitigation and humanitarian assistance is often low. Yet the disruptive impact of such high rates of violence is significant, and the humanitarian impact is severe. New theoretical frameworks are needed to better problematize extreme armed violence in ‘peacetime’ states. This article seeks to bring an understanding of the severity of armed violence in states such as El Salvador into engagement with the critical and theoretical foundations of the women, peace and security (WPS) field. Gendered dynamics shape gang violence in El Salvador, and a gender lens helps reimagine its impact. Aligning critical theory with the lived experience of this subset of armed conflict allows new directions for engagement and, in particular, offers the opportunity to re-examine long-standing assumptions of what initiates, maintains, and challenges armed violence by non-state actors in communities considered ‘at peace.’ This article seeks to encourage greater debate and scholarship to inform our understandings of armed conflict and gender in communities affected by gang violence, such as those in El Salvador. In these communities, the level of violence often replicates the experiences of war, and thus a WPS lens is a critical tool for analysis. 

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Gender, Humanitarian Assistance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: El Salvador

Year: 2018

Black Women’s Struggles against Extractivism, Land Dispossession, and Marginalization in Colombia


Hernández Reyes, Castriela Esther. 2019. "Black Women’s Struggles against Extractivism, Land Dispossession, and Marginalization in Colombia." Latin American Perspectives 46 (2): 217-34.

Author: Castriela Esther Hernández Reyes


The neocolonial turn toward extractivism intensifies the use of violence while fostering land dispossession, racism, and militarization of social life. Afro-Colombian women resist this process by using their subjectivities politically, strategically, discursively, and textually. An examination through the lens of black/decolonial feminism of the first national Mobilization for the Care of Life and Ancestral Territories, led by 40 black women from the Department of Cauca in 2014, shows that black women’s emotions and collective affections were driving forces that exhibited both their exclusions and their resistance. These feelings may be seen as catalysts through which their lived experiences are expressed and performed in the material world. Examination of this event suggests that a more radical analysis of black women’s historicity, subjectivities, and struggles is needed to better capture and understand experience-based epistemologies that challenge hegemonic forms of knowledge production.
El giro neocolonial hacia el extractivismo intensifica el uso de la violencia al tiempo que fomenta el despojo de tierras, el racismo y la militarización de la vida social. Las mujeres afrocolombianas se resisten a este proceso utilizando sus subjetividades políticas, estratégica, discursiva y textualmente. Un examen a través del feminismo negro/decolonial de la primera movilización nacional por el Cuidado de la Vida y los Territorios Ancestrales, liderada por 40 mujeres negras del Departamento del Cauca en 2014, revele que las emociones y los afectos colectivos de las mujeres negras fueron fuerzas impulsoras que exibian tanto sus exclusiones como sus formas de resistencia. Estos sentimientos pueden verse como catalizadores a través de los cuales sus experiencias vividas se expresan y realizan en el mundo material. El examen de este evento sugiere que se necesita un análisis más radical de la historicidad, las subjetividades y las luchas de las mujeres afrodescendientes para captar y comprender mejor las epistemologías basadas en la experiencia que desafían las formas hegemónicas de producción de conocimiento.

Keywords: Afro-Colombian women, neocolonial extractivism, racialized capitalism, Afro-aesthetic and emotion politics, political subjectivities, black/decolonial feminism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Extractive Industries, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Political Participation, Race, Rights, Land Rights, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2019


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